Last Sunday we continued with Revelation 14-15 which is a great comfort in light of Revelation 12-13.
Revelation 12-13 ended with the dragon standing on the sea shore and out of the sea came the first beast followed by the beast out of the earth. They caused the inhabitants of the earth (non-Christians) to worship them and receive the mark of the beast. Revelation 14 opens with a vision of the Lamb (last seen opening the scroll in God’s throne room in Revelation 5:6-13; 6:1-12; 8:1) who is an antidote to the two beasts. The fact that the Lamb is standing undisturbed shows that all the evil the beasts have been allowed to do is powerless against the Lamb and his followers. The Lamb is on Mount Zion and this is significant as Mount Zion in the Old Testament is the place of God’s presence and salvation not only in the past but also at the end of history.
Other than Revelation, the other New Testament passage that speaks about Mount Zion is Hebrews 12:22-24 which is telling us that Christians on earth already have access to and are in some sense present at Mount Zion (heavenly Jerusalem) when the church is gathered for worship (Hebrews 10:19-22). Thus the vision of the Lamb on Mount Zion is telling of intimacy with Christ especially when in worship, and of life of heaven to which believers united in Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit have access to while still on earth.
The number 144,000 is symbolic of all God’s faithful people and they sang a new song which is a reference to God’s new acts of salvation. This was followed by the proclamations of three angel heralds. It symbolizes the testimony of the church up to the time when history reaches its climax.
The first message is the message of the eternal gospel, which is, “fear God and give him glory.” This means we are to repent, worship God and be joined to God’s people (Revelation 15:4; 16:9; 19:5-7) for God is the maker of the heavens and the earth. The second message about Babylon which signifies that all proud ambition and independence from God will fall. The last message is that all worship the beast will suffer the wrath of God, be consigned to the lake of fire (hell), and this punishment is eternal. The grain harvest signifies the gathering of the just (God’s people) and the grape harvest signifies judgment on the unjust (non-believers).
Revelation 15 tells us that believers, overcomers and the faithful will sing a new song, the Song of Moses and the Lamb in heaven. Hallelujah and God bless!
Pastor Boo Teong